How to Decrease Indent in Word: Step-by-Step Guide for Easy Formatting

How to Decrease Indent in Word

Reducing the indent in Microsoft Word is a quick and straightforward process. To decrease the indent, you can use the ruler feature or adjust the paragraph settings directly. By following these steps, you’ll be able to customize the spacing of your text to better suit your needs.

How to Decrease Indent in Word

In this section, we’ll walk through the specific steps to decrease indent in Microsoft Word. You’ll learn both the shortcut method and how to adjust settings using the toolbar.

Step 1: Open your document

First, you need to open your Word document where you want to decrease the indent.

Once your document is open, you can easily see the formatting and identify where the indent adjustments are needed.

Step 2: Highlight the text

Highlight the text where you want to decrease the indent.

Selecting the specific paragraph or section ensures that only the highlighted text will be affected by the change.

Step 3: Use the Ruler

Go to the top of the page and locate the ruler. Adjust the indent markers to the desired position.

The ruler allows you to visually adjust the indent level by dragging the markers to the left. This is a quick way to see immediate changes.

Step 4: Use the Paragraph Settings

Alternatively, navigate to the ‘Home’ tab and click on the small arrow in the ‘Paragraph’ section. Adjust the ‘Indentation’ settings.

The Paragraph settings give you more control and precision over the indent values. You can set specific measurements for both the left and right indents.

Step 5: Apply the changes

Click ‘OK’ to apply the new indent settings.

After you apply the changes, the text will adjust according to the new indent levels. This should make your document look cleaner and more organized.

After you complete these steps, your text’s indent will be adjusted as per your settings. The document should look more aligned and professional.

Tips for How to Decrease Indent in Word

  • If you’re using the ruler, make sure it’s visible. Go to the ‘View’ tab and check ‘Ruler’ if it’s not already displayed.
  • You can also use keyboard shortcuts. Press ‘Ctrl + M’ to increase indent and ‘Ctrl + Shift + M’ to decrease indent.
  • For more precise adjustments, use the numerical values in the ‘Paragraph’ settings.
  • Save your document frequently to avoid losing changes.
  • Practice on a test document to get comfortable with the settings before applying changes to important documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make the ruler visible in Word?

Go to the ‘View’ tab and check the ‘Ruler’ option to ensure it is displayed at the top of your document.

Can I decrease indent for multiple paragraphs at once?

Yes, highlight all the paragraphs you want to adjust and then follow the same steps to decrease the indent.

What if the ruler is not showing accurate measurements?

Ensure your document is set to the correct measurement unit by going to ‘File’ > ‘Options’ > ‘Advanced’ and checking the ‘Display’ section.

Is there a way to reset all indents?

Yes, you can use the ‘Clear Formatting’ option in the ‘Home’ tab to reset all formatting, including indents.

Why is only part of my text indented?

This might be because only a portion of the text was highlighted. Ensure the entire section or paragraph is selected before adjusting indent.


  1. Open your document.
  2. Highlight the text.
  3. Use the Ruler.
  4. Use the Paragraph Settings.
  5. Apply the changes.


In conclusion, knowing how to decrease indent in Word can significantly improve the readability and appearance of your documents. Whether you’re preparing a school report, a business proposal, or a personal letter, proper text formatting makes a world of difference. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can easily adjust your text’s indent and make your document more polished and professional.

If you found this guide helpful, you might also like to explore other formatting options available in Microsoft Word. Experiment with different settings to discover how you can further enhance your documents. Happy formatting!